Is the NEMA 6 Waterproof?

This article will explore the question of whether a NEMA 6 is waterproof.  We’ll talk about what a NEMA 6 rating means, and how to figure out if your enclosure is rated for ingress protection or not.  If you’re an engineer working with electrical equipment outdoors, this article should be helpful in determining which type of enclosure to use when designing your system.

The National Electrical Manufacturer’s Association (NEMA) publishes standards for enclosures for electrical equipment that are designed to protect against dust and water intrusion. The most common standard used in North America is the NEMA 6 standard, which protects water or heavy splashes from all angles and prevents ingress of dust and other particle contaminants.

NEMA 6 and NEMA 6P are rated as waterproof.

What's the difference between NEMA 6 and NEMA 6P?

NEMA 6P is the designation given to an electrical enclosure which can withstand complete submersion in water for a prolonged period of time. These types of enclosures are considered to offer the greatest level of protection available of all the NEMA standards. It is important to note here that NEMA 6 and NEMA 6P are not necessarily the same. While they will both offer protection against water and dust ingress only electrical enclosures with a NEMA 6P rating are designed to be submerged for a significant amount of time.

Can I use a NEMA 4X Enclosure instead of a NEMA 6?

NEMA 4X enclosures are commonplace and used in a variety of outdoor and indoor applications where they may be in contact with a small amount of water or spray. However, these enclosures are not suitable for use in areas where large amounts of water or dust are present; and they are not suitable for any application where there is a threat of complete submersion. For environments that are prone to flooding, submersion, and large volumes of water NEMA 6 or NEMA 6P rated enclosures should always be used.

Are all NEMA 6 Enclosures the same?

The short answer to this question is No. NEMA 6 and NEMA 6P enclosures come in a range of styles, shapes and materials. In order to understand which NEMA 6 enclosure is the right choice for you, it is vital you consider the environment and application. The most common NEMA 6 and NEMA 6P enclosures come in the following materials: Polycarbonate, Aluminum (painted or powdercoated) and Stainless Steel. 

It is important to note that the environments that utilize NEMA 6 and 6P enclosures are usually harsher and more likely to exposed to foreign object damages and contaminants. These types of enclosures will usually be made from better materials such as Stainless Steel which provides corrosion resistance and protection from impact damage. An example of where and why this is important; is in areas that are prone to flooding and storm damage. Often the water in these environments will be carrying moving debris which can impact the electrical enclosure. Polycarbonate enclosures used in these environments will often crack under impact, negating any waterproof properties that they were initially rated at. When selecting a NEMA 6 or NEMA 6P electrical enclosure, it is vital to consider the environment in which it will be placed, as often the cost of shutdowns, equipment replacement and lost time will far outweigh the cost of selecting the right enclosure solution initially.

What are NEMA 6 Enclosures used for?

NEMA 6 enclosures are designed to protect equipment from dust, water and other contaminants. They are often used in industrial, maritime or infrastructure applications where the enclosure is required to be waterproof or have a higher degree of protection against liquids.

Where do I buy a NEMA 6P Enclosure?

SLAYSON has an extensive range of NEMA 6P Enclosures which are all available as standard products. These come in a variety of standard sizes and materials, all of which can be modified or customized to suit your exact application and environment. For more information on these types of enclosures contact us at sales@slayson.com

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